Gardening Q and A

Tea – Home Growing Your Own!

Q: I have a tea camellia, ^Camellia sinensis” in my back yard. Can I make tea from its leaves? A: You are welcome to try … but don’t expect to give Mr. Lipton a run for his money! Tea is...

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pH Meters – Several Different Types

Q: Can you recommend a pH meter that would be accurate enough to use in my perennial garden that would not cost me an arm and a leg? A: It depends on how you define “accurate enough”. As you know,...

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Rodents – Limiting Carrying Capacity

Q: Do you know of any Internet sites that discuss control of rodents in the yard? A: The key to controlling outdoor rodents like rats, squirrels and chipmunks is to understand ^carrying capacity^ and ^seasonality^. Every landscape has the capacity...

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Artichokes – Growing in Conyers?

Q: In my native country, Greece, I enjoyed growing artichokes this time of the year. There, I planted them once and they came back every year. Can you please tell me if I can grow them here, where to find...

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Butterbean (Butter Bean) vs Lima Bean

Q: A battle rages between my dearest friends. The line is drawn between South Georgia natives and Atlanta-raised folks. Fresh, dried, green, beige, or speckled: what is a butterbean or a lima bean? A: I conducted an unofficial poll with...

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Students – Interested In Plants?

Q: I have taught high school physics and chemistry for the last 5 years but this year I am teaching 7th grade science. Soon I’ll be teaching a unit on the plant kingdom. Do you have any ideas to stir...

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Boxwoods – Keeping Them Happy

Q: On each side of my front door I have four boxwoods. For the past couple of years I have continued to lose shrubs on the right side of my door. At first we thought it was due to improper...

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Photinias – Preventing Leaf Spots

Q: I have a line of red tip photinias in my back yard. The shrubs on the southern end are in real good shape with very few leaf spots. The shrubs in the other end of the line are in...

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Amaryllis – Fooling A Plant

Q: I have an amaryllis that bloomed this past spring and the leaves look very healthy now. How can I make it bloom this Christmas? A: All you have to do is fool the bulb into thinking it’s spring in...

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Fungi – Keeping It In Check

Q: I’m clearing out a pine island that was filled with junipers under the pine trees. I’m finding a white, gauzy, fungus-looking substance under the pine straw. What is it and how diligent do I need to be in removing...

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Garden Club – Creating Your Own

Q: How do I go about finding or setting up a garden club? A: I think there are many models for a garden club these days. It could be a group of co-workers who enjoy getting together on weekends to...

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Trees – Keeping Track Of Roots

Q: My parents have received contradictory advice regarding their trees’ roots and their septic lines. One contractor insists that they must have the trees cut down and another man said that they should trim back the branches and the roots...

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Cherry – Planted Too Deep

Q: I have a four year old Yoshino cherry. The trunk is splitting vertically, and there is a strange wound (maybe mechanical damage) on the trunk. One of the splits has fungus growing on it. The leaves seem to drop...

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Horses – Plants They Won’t Like

Q: I have the perfect area for a new garden on our property! However, the garden site is accessible on two sides to horses leaning over the fence to check out the new plants. Do you know where I can...

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Street Lamps – Any Negative Affect On Perennials?

Q: I am considering having a street light installed by the edge of my property. However, it would be near a perennial flower bed I have. I think most lights that the electric companies install are now sodium vapor type...

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Fescue – The Best Time For Planting

Q: Is there an optimal time for aerating and applying lime and fertilizer for fescue overseeded in fall? We have a major oak tree canopy over much of the lawn in question. If I wait until after the leaf drop,...

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Centipedegrass – Removing Sandspurs

Q: Is there a weed killer that I can spray onto centipedegrass to kill sand spurs? A: Few things take the pleasure out of walking barefoot across a lawn like stepping on a sandbur. The plant is an annual grass...

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Azaleas – Proper Planting

Q: A few months ago I had a professional installer plant a large number of bushes around my house. He used a method that violates my own knowledge of planting. I was told his method was advocated by a UGA...

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